Monday, September 13, 2010

Carnivore Adventure!

Autumn and I are, right now, riding out the last few stressful packing days of our Tasmanian chapter. Before we bid this little island farewell though, we wanted to tick a couple of little achievements. One of these was to see a Tasmanian Devil and a Spotted Quol in the wild. Muthauckahs is cute afterall!

So, with an inquiry to the local carnivore expert, we determined a location in the south of Tasmania called Cockle Creek which promised to be rich in meat eaters.

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Here is the unfolding of our little adventure:

As with any good adventure, wine on the beach
was how it all started.

Then with a good head of lower-economic-
bracket house red, we pitched our tent...

...cooked up a feast of leftover soup...

...and set up a camera trap!
*Strobist: 580exII into softbox infront of and 45 deg to right of subject
430exII bare behind at 45 degrees to left of subject and elevated
~all triggered with Cactus V4

We used some ground up Kangaroo bits (read: "Roo Mince")
as bait for any carnivores brave enough to walk around the
tripods and ominous lighting equipment.

Some critters (read: the army of Pademelons endlessly
patrolling our campsite) were curious enough about the
lights at least...

One of the Paddies was even a little bit curious about the
ground up blob of her (you can tell she's female by the
bulge in her pouch) larger cousin, making us a little
curious about the eating habits of these "so-called
herbivores" ...


The pademelons eventually gave up on the meat though,
generally freaking out a little when they got close enough
to smell it. And so we waited into the night...until it
started to rain and we had to pull down all the lights and
retreat into our tent (which survived the near-Antarctic like
conditions quite admirably). Without the lights, we didn't
stand a chance of getting a picture in the dark, so we gave
up and bunkered down for a cold night (well, I didn't
think it was that cold, but Autumn has Californian
blood and she found it pretty chilly...granted, as soon
as it got dark, the ground froze solid and winds started
harassing the tent).


Of course, in the morning the meat blob cum bait ball
was gone without a trace, save for some trampled bush.

We didn't find any tracks though, but the fellow pictured
below was flying awfully low to the ground, as though
his belly was laden with a lead weight, or, perhaps,
fist-sized ball of raw kangaroo flesh.